Conny Aerts wins prestigious Kavli Prize in Astrophysics


Conny Aerts, Belgian professor of astronomy at KU Leuven, has been awarded the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics 2022 for her pioneering work, leading research, and exceptional achievements that are making us much wiser about the origin, evolution, and characteristics of the universe.

Conny Aerts shares the award worth one million US dollars, presented by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, with an American and a Danish colleague. Their joint research has produced a breakthrough in helio- and asteroseismology and has laid the foundation for current stellar structure theory. Their interdisciplinary work, drawing on mathematics, thermodynamics, nuclear and atomic physics, and quantum mechanics, led them to an integrated approach that created an ingenious way of determining the physics and chemistry of the sun's interior and that of other stars based on oscillations on their surfaces with high precision.

Needless to say, the Belgian scientist is particularly delighted to have received the Kavli Prize for Astrophysics. It is at once recognition for the long-standing dedication of her team members and an incentive for the development of new mathematical and computational methods in the long term, with a view to extending asteroseismology to the fastest-rotating stars in our universe.